Oct 052015


This month, the University of Victoria is launching a very exclusive MBA program — it’s only open to Telus employees.

The program will be taught primarily by UVic faculty, but it’s being paid for by Telus. The company also played a role in its design.

Dan Pontefract is Chief Envisioner with the Telus Transformation Office, the office responsible for setting up this program. He sees it as an innovative way to give Telus employees the education that’s most relevant to their company.

I don’t think the higher education institution is in need of being dismantled, I think it needs to be updated. – Dan Pontefract, Telus Transformation Office

E. Wayne Ross is a professor of education at the University of British Columbia. He says this program is the next step in the corporatization of higher education.

I think one of the demises of education… has been its susceptibility to adopting business practices. They have always been antithetical to the life of the mind.– E. Wayne Ross, University of British Columbia

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WAYNE ROSS, prof at UBC, provides more details:


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Economics is central to an MBA.    WHICH economics is taught is central to the well-being and survival of human beings.

Coincidentally,  I am just returned from the CANUSSEE Conference on this subject.  A group of mostly academics who are dedicated to finding ways to change the teaching of economics to include, for example, Ecology.    Two words, “Climate change”, lend urgency to their work .

Mainstream economic thinking cannot be rationally defended.

2007-11-03    The Need for Helpful Economic Indicators

2014-07-02   Economic indicators: email to CBC, Fisheries illustrate the faults

2011-04    The University: Are We Living in a Brave New Academy? The Conditioning Centre.

Faulty thinking reinforced by non-critical media, is taking us over the edge.

HOWEVER!   The good news.   There are significant movements underway to CHANGE the indefensible.   The Canadian and U.S. Societies for Ecological Economics are just one.

2012-12-07   I am just back from Bhutan (Gross Happiness Index)! (economic indicators)

2015-05-26   The power of transparency, By Elisa Birnbaum, Financial Post    Tells of new software developed to include the perspectives that GDP and conventional economics ignore (at our peril).

It is unbelievable that a University would partner with a large corporation in the establishment of an MBA programme for “Telus employees only”.


Ecological Economists will be marginalized if the MBA at U of Victoria for employees of Telus Only is allowed to stand.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see what it will do to ecological-economics, let alone our knowledge bases in general.  The same will be at other Universities.

Action needs to come.   Swift and strong response.  Forwarding the info is helpful.  On-line Comments (CBC) are helpful.

Others will aid mobilization directed at the Administration of U of Vic through connections, organizations and social media.



Thinkers of the Day on the Unholy Alliances between Government (public institutions) and Industry


President Jamie Cassels    Tel: 250-721-7002
Fax: 250-721-8654

Office of The Provost,  Valerie Kuehne:  250-721-7013


University of Victoria 3800 Finnerty Road Victoria BC  V8P 5C2  Canada


  11 Responses to “2015-10-04 MBA program at University of Victoria is for Telus employees only. Telus-designed MBA. Ecological Economics.”

  1. Received by email, Sent: October 9, 2015 7:46 AM

    Thought control Sandra, aided and abetted by the University of Victoria. Why am I not surprised? Because, many years ago now, there was a series of incidents either on or near that campus that raised considerable alarm. It concerned both missing and wrongful deaths of female students of colour.


  2. Received by email, Sent: October 7, 2015 11:54 AM

    Sandra, You are on to an issue that is growing – big Corps are trying to influence the direction and the role of some universities. Thank you for your email today.

    On Monday Oct 5 I heard Jim Brown, CBC radio in the afternoon, interviewing a Telus Rep and a U of Vic Rep on this subject.

    Also last week Jason Warick, SP reporter had a front page story about Monsanto and U of S scientists exchanging thoughts about their research.

    On a related issue – the whole area of Knowledge in Society ( KIS ) including outreach, extension, adult education, etc. tenured profs do little if any of this any more at the U of S. Surely at least some tenured Profs i.e. Ag Economists should be able to give at least a couple of public speeches per year, on what they have to offer society.

    I look forward to your posting on citizen mobilization.

    With my best to you.


  3. Received by email. Sent: October 7, 2015 10:26 AM

    OH MY GOSH!!! I guess it only reminds me of how cameco works with Saskatoon Business College. So they can have specially trained mine administrators. Not quite the same, but another way for that sneaky spirit of commerce to operate,.

    Your research is amazing. great work . you r unstoppable. Unconquorable through learning!!! 😀

  4. Sent: October 9, 2015 1:12 PM
    TO: 😀

    A very good example (Cameco). I did not know they are at Saskatoon Business College. (in addition to the U of S, big time).


  5. Received by email. Sent: October 6, 2015 5:40 PM

    Sorry you are now sockless, but I do not get your point. Fee-for-service Continuing Education has been a staple of post-secondary institutions for decades. Umpteen years ago, Harvard’s condensed MBA program for IBM managers served us (and presumably them) very well.


  6. Point well taken. Thanks Gil.

  7. Received by email. Sent: October 6, 2015 5:26 PM

    This disturbs me. It poses a blatant attack on academic integrity.

    Denis Hall, Ph.D.
    University of Victoria Alumnus (1991)

  8. GDP is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year.

    I made the following COMMENT on the CBC website:

    Corporate- government interests USE universities to lend an aura of legitimacy. The documentary “Inside Job” awakened citizens to the role of academics.

    At U of Sask there is Monsanto funding of Agriculture Dept for 3 decades. Chemical-biotech interests marginalize all but corporate interests in “higher learning”.

    But hey! Citizens want organic. So what now will the University do? . . a marketing department on campus to churn out propaganda for the industry, the “Global Institute for Food Security”. The Government helps foot the bill to convince citizens this stuff is good for all.

    Or, from the U of Calgary, corrupt the U for benefit of fossil fuel industry – Canada’s Biggest Political Scandal You Never Heard Of: http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/10/05/Canada-Biggest-Unheard-Political-Scandal/?utm_source=builders&utm_medium=email&utm_content=10102015-1&utm_campaign=builders-1015 Pretty terrible. Government is in that act, too.

    Problem for U of Victoria: MBA programs involve economics. Profs who teach in Telus MBA also teach in not-Telus MBA. The same economics will be taught.

    But the world is turning away from economics that make no sense, same as the world is turning away from chemical-bioteched food.

    U Victoria will be locked into pleasing corporate lords, same as U of S. Students will pay for education, e.g. GDP that tells us we are making great progress when GDP increases. GDP measures one thing: dollars spent. A million dollars spent treating one child for cancer is great! Clean-up a multi-million dollar oil spill, wonderful news for GDP, too! But who in their right mind would teach such bunk?

    Will prof teaching a corporate-controlled course give actual value, critical thinking on economics, to students? Research how to change?

  9. Received by email.

    Sent: October 11, 2015 10:21 AM

    sorry for my words, but that is ‘wack’
    I can’t believe that something like that can be approved by a public institution… ‎

  10. I still “can’t believe” either, even though through the years, I’ve seen many examples – – it takes surprisingly little to erode people’s values. Monsanto has the Canola Producers and their resources in its hip pocket by merely taking Directors and their wives to Spain for a 2-week all expenses paid holiday.

    Academics are co-opted by corporations that take them to expensive resort conferences. The dynamic is this:

    Many people aspire to personal “value” as measured by the culture in which they are embedded. Makes sense.

    We measure people’s value by the symbols of FINANCIAL success. Shiny cars, travel abroad, big houses, expensive clothes and jewellery, rubbing shoulders with rich people, a university education (the latter less so today), a vacation home, big boats and so on.

    In a culture which measures everything, even people, in terms of dollars it is to be expected that ethics often take second seat.

    To me, the movements to reform our economy will be successful to the extent that we are able to overthrow corporate/consumer values. Democratic/citizen values have to be re-asserted.


  11. Important wisdom of the ages:

    Thinkers of the Day on the Unholy Alliances between Government (public institutions) and Industry

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